New cancer screening resources for multilingual and migrant groups

Chief Cancer Officer and Cancer Institute NSW CEO Professor David Currow.

Understanding cancer screening is now a little easier with the new single-source information brochure by Cancer Institute NSW on bowel, breast and cervical cancer myths for multicultural communities. 

What is cancer screening? Is available in 15 translations including five emerging languages: Arabic, Assyrian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dari, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Macedonian, Pashto, Spanish, Tamil, Thai and Vietnamese.

Chief Cancer Officer and Cancer Institute NSW CEO Professor David Currow said people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are a priority for the Institute.

“We know multicultural people and migrant groups are less likely to participate in cancer screening for many complex reasons. Often their health takes a backseat to housing and employment,” Professor Currow said.

“It’s crucial we continue finding new ways to connect with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and to support them to make informed decisions.

“The brochure is one way to empower these groups to make their health a priority.”

According to surveys, screening participation rates remain lower for multicultural groups. Bowel screening[i] is between 25-34 per cent, compared to 41 per cent of those who are eligible age in the general population. 

Encouragingly, more multicultural women are participating in breast screening but rates are still lower than the general population (48% vs. 53%)[ii].

Cancer screening brochures now available in 15 languages.

“Most people diagnosed with these cancers do recover.  Screening is a crucial step in giving people the best chance of detection and treatment of cervical, bowel or breast cancer,” Professor Currow said.

“Cancer Institute NSW is committed to delivering the right information in the right way. We work closely with communities, service providers, and health providers to develop the appropriate resources linked to shifts in community needs for information.”

In 2019-20 NSW Government, through Cancer Institute NSW, is investing $605,086 into health programs to improve cancer outcomes for the State’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

What is cancer screening? is available at:

For more information, email:

[i] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s latest National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report (2019)

[ii] Cancer Control in NSW: Statewide Report 2017